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Think global, act local: the role for councils in climate change

State and local governments are going it alone on climate change. Australian councils are starting to follow, write ANU researcher Dr Matthew Rimmer and climate campaigner Charlotte Wood.

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Time to embrace Australia’s colourful mayors

Not all Australian politicians are ex-lawyers and union hacks. Freelance journalist Henry Belot takes a look at some of the more interesting characters in local government.

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What now for a referendum on local government recognition?

With the change in election date, the referendum on local government will not be put to the punters. And public policy and governance expert Stephen Bartos says Kevin Rudd should thank his lucky stars for that.

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Govt massaging the truth on local government referendum

The Gillard government is pressing ahead with its referendum on local government; a draft amendment was issued last week. But is it being straight with the public on what the change would actually mean?

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The true cost of migrants

Crikey readers talk replacing a governor-general, teachers’ pay and Australia’s population.

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News Ltd bites hand that feeds local paper network

The line from News Limited on recognising local government in the constitution doesn’t make much sense given the value of councils to the company’s vast community newspaper network.

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Who should control local government?

Crikey readers talk 457 visa holders, local government and the myth of the public airways.

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Crikey Clarifier: local government recognition in the constitution

Would recognising local government in the constitution protect essential services or undermine states’ rights? Public policy and governance expert Stephen Bartos answers Crikey’s questions.

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Decision time for PM’s promise on council referendum vote

The Prime Minister faces a decision on whether to put local government recognition to a referendum. The Municipal Association of Victoria is currently hosting the debate.

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Some comfort for Labor, Greens in big polling weekend

Election results in Sydney, Melbourne and the ACT point to moderately good news for Labor — and the Greens will take some comfort from their inner-city results. Is the anti-incumbency vibe waning?

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Chaplains outcome another belated loss for the Howard govt

The High Court’s decision yesterday on the Williams schools chaplains case isn’t exactly a bombshell, but it will make life for the Commonwealth a little more difficult — and unnecessarily so.

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Why all politics isn’t necessarily local

Closest to the people it may be, but local government is unlikely to make it into the constitution any time soon, writes Andrew Lynch, director of the Gilbert+Tobin Centre of Public Law.

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Council rates surging to pay for new residents

Australian councils, possibly half, are jacking up their rates on existing residents to pay for the cost of new residents, writes Adam Creighton, research fellow (Economics Program) at the Centre for Independent Studies.

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Roads, rates, rubbish … foreign policy? Recreating local government

Local government is about more than roads, rates and rubbish. But it’s not about international diplomacy, one Sydney mayor and president of the local government alliance insists. So what good is a new-age council?

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Crikey Blogs | NT|

How NOT to do local gov reform

Bob Gosford investigates the local government reforms recently undertaken in the Northern Territory, finding incompetence and confusion clouding the implementation of a new IT system.

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Tips and rumours: Public servants get chakras aligned at taxpayer expense!

According to one tip-off today, a federal agency is the talk of the town after forking out $50,000 for a recent two night/three day sojourn at a luxury Southern Highlands resort for the entire staff.

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VIC|

Local concerns swept aside by Gillard’s Education Revolution

Planning no longer operates under this system of fairness — not when the Education Revolution is on the agenda, writes Cr Claude Ullin, mayor of the City of Stonnington.

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Crikey Blogs | AUSTRALIA|

Local politicians: gagged by their own councils

In parts of Australia, local government politicians are being prevented, under threat of legal action, from talking to the media. It’s ridiculous, undemocratic and probably illegal, says Margaret Simons.

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Ferguson urges “science, not green faith” in letter to Batman residents

Federal Energy Minister Martin Ferguson has taken a blowtorch to loyal ALP supporters in his own electorate, using a taxpayer-funded letter to slam a push for zero emissions as “faith based”.

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Brumby’s staffer code jumps ahead of the law

The Brumby Government is introducing a staffers’ code to insulate itself from controversy. Ministerial staff will be banned from holding office as a local Government Councillor.

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NSW|

Byron Bay to be abandoned to the waves

We should all be thankful that the Greens council which makes the decisions at Byron Shire isn’t in charge of Venice, writes Ian Evans.

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Hakki Suleyman snuggles up at ALP Head Office

Yesterday’s damning eyewitness account of in-the-flesh flouting of Victorian ALP party rules was overseen by sacked Justin Madden staffer Hakki Suleyman, writes Andrew Crook.

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Watching the ALP stacks come in: the membership rorts go on

Extensive and apparently systemic rorting of ALP membership rules in Victoria has continued despite the Brimbank scandal.

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The Brimbank scourge that spans Victoria

John Brumby’s decision to sideline notorious numbers man George Seitz will have little impact in faction-ridden Victoria.

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Politics in Sydney’s barmiest borough: Rockdale

While Liberal and Labor councillors are at each other’s throats all over NSW, not so in Rockdale, where they work hand-in-glove.

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